Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Broadway Bound

Carlie is attending a two-week musical theatre daycamp this week and next. The camp ends with a production of "Hairspray." Today was Day 2 of camp, and they've already started learning the group choreography and auditioned for their roles. Tomorrow they find out what role they'll play.

Carlie came home from camp and announced, "Everyone thinks I am going to be Tracy. But I'll be happy even if I am Amber."

If you're unfamiliar with Hairspray, Tracy is the lead and Amber is the lead mean girl.

My daughter, she aims high.

I don't know what it is with my hardwiring that causes my immediate reaction to be, "Oh no, she's going to be so disappointed." What's wrong with me?

Instead of excitement for tomorrow, which is all Carlie feels, I feel dread. The dread of impending disappointment and heartbreak. I had to stop myself, consciously stop going down the black hole, and let the thought in that maybe she'd get the part she wants and life would be swell.

But I really wonder what it is in my psyche that causes me to go to the *bad* place immediately. I had loving parents. I had a stable upbringing. I have a nice home and a great family. And I? Am, like, the Princess of Darkness, Doom-R-Us.

I have issues. I acknowledge that. My greatest desire right now is to not pass on those issues to yet another child. My older kids are awesome people, but they? Have issues

Daughter pregnant at 19? check

Son unemployed by choice as a form of rebellion against our "petroleum based lifestyle," mooching food and a room and probably pot off of friends? check

High school junior with self-imposed need for academic perfection? check.

I didn't raise my kids in a vacuum. I know that. But in each of them I can see my stamp, my mark, my contribution to both the good and the fucked-up that make them who they are. I'm proud to say they've all got more good than fucked-up-ness.

I've got one more chance. She's 10-1/2 years old and relatively unscathed. Please, God, help me keep her that way.

It's a conscious choice. Stop. Breathe. And say:

"Honey, you're going to knock 'em dead."

Even when I'm thinking:

"Being in the chorus is perfectly acceptable!"

Stop. Breathe. Doom and Gloom out. Glitter and Spotlights in.

5 comments:

the mama bird diaries said...

I think it's normal to not want our children to be hurt or disappointed. But you are smart to encourage them to reach for the stars.

Joanna said...

How great to be filled with such confidence! I'm going to guess she is going to be fine with whatever role she gets. Good on you Mom for stopping yourself. I've got so much to learn before my girls get bigger.

San Diego Momma said...

Jazz hands! Jazz hands!

Come on, you can do it!

Nah, I can't either.

I like to think that my kids will be "complex," and not "committed." I aim high. (No I don't. Who am I kidding.)

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I know this feeling; Mason has auditioned every summer with OCT since he was 6 (so this is the 5th time) - and he has never had a callback until this year. And that still doesn't guarantee a part.

It is a difficult, thankless part of our job description - walking the fine line of encouragement & preparation for disappointment. Agh.

Catutes said...

It's the hardest thing ever when they are disappointed. You want to protect them from all of that hurt. My daughter tried out for a solo part in chorus and only told me after she found out she didn't get it. My heart just about shattered into pieces when I found out.
But, on the other hand, life hands out many disappointments and learning to keep trying, no matter what, is a good message.
The fact that she can't sing a note, my DNA thank you very much, shouldn't prevent her from reaching.